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it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. the record-setting blizzard of 2013. right now portland, maine is reporting 29.3 inches of snow. that is beating a record set more than 30 years ago. even more records are bound to be broken. we have reports from massachusetts, connecticut, new york and rhode island. hello, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." let's get to the very latest. we have some new warnings to share. they are to stay off the roads.
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the rhode island governor ordering a travel ban of the state and closing all roads. drivers in massachusetts and connecticut face similar restrictions. on new york's long island, the heavy snowfall trapping hundreds of drivers on a major expressway. police used snomobiles to get to some of those stranded. more than half a million customers still without power across the region with the numbers getting better in the past few hours. most of them are in massachusetts with more than 400,000 outages. rhode island has nearly 173,000 without power. connecticut more than 38,000 outages. other states fared a little bit better. even though new york area airports began receiving flights today, the ripple effects across this country, airlines cancelling more than 5300 flights this week. and reporter jonathan hall from our nbc affiliate whdh was on the coast in massachusetts as the high tide came in. >> reporter: the water has definitely come up. i'd say a good three or four inches just in the last ten minutes or so. and the national guard is here
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on the scene helping people evacuate. no mandatory evacuations at hall, but they are strongly urged. people in low-lying areas, areas that normally flood, are told get out. and now it might be too late. we've definitely got the high tide flowing in here at hall. >> we're going to check in with reporters throughout the region today. nbc's ron allen is in connecticut. we're beginning with nbc's ron mott in prof dend, rhode island. ron it was pretty bad in that town we saw you a couple of hours ago. it looks a little better now. >> reporter: a little better now, alex. but it is going to be a tough day. let's face it. a lot of folks without power here in rhode island. at last check it was just under 1773,000 customers of national grid without power. that represents more than a third of their customers in this state. so a lot of folks are in the dark and in the cold here. and it is very cold. it's about 18, 19 degrees right now. we're expected to get down to single digits tonight. so unfortunately a lot of folks are going to be in cold houses tonight.
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and national grid is asking everyone to be patient. they've got a couple of hundred crews out on the roads trying to get at least an assessment of where the biggest problems are across the state. but they say it could be a few days before power is restored to everyone. i've been texting my nephew to goes to college in rhode island. they are without power in his town. he says there are a few generators so the students are all huddled together and trying to stay warm on the college campus. one of the things we also need to tell people, that there is a travel ban in effect. as you mentioned, alex, here in rhode island. the last few minutes i've seen cars driving by so i'm a little confused about why people are out on the roads. they want to keep roads open for the road crews so that they can get some of the snow out of the way. they're going to need dump trucks to get all of this snow out of here. they're working to try to get the streets cleared up so schools and people can get back to work on monday. we'll have to see how it goes over the next 24 to 48 hours. we're expecting one small band of weather to come through here in the next couple of hours. hopefully that will be it. tomorrow temperatures are expected to get up over freezing
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and then on monday we're expected to get back into the 40s. so hopefully we'll start to see a lot of this snow turn into water. alex? >> yeah. hey ron, i know that there was talk about people having to walk in the streets because the sidewalks are even more treacherous than the streets. have the sidewalks been plowed there, rather shovelled? >> reporter: well if you were at our hotel they've got the valet workers out there with the the snow blowers and shovels clearing it for the guests. but a lot of the city sidewalks have not been touched. a couple right here behind me walking in the street. the streets have become the sidewalks. obviously people who have pets have to come outside to let their pets do what they need to do. and the street's the best place to do it. we are starting to see some traffic. and i believe that's interstate 95 over here to my left. i am seeing cars and trucks passing down through the interstate. but keep in mind that it's going to be awhile. i don't know if governor chaffey is going to open the roadways back up today. again the priority is to get the
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roadways cleared. it's going to be tougher for crews to do that if people decide let's go out and take a look and see how bad things are. they want you to stay home. give them a day. and then maybe tomorrow things are going to be a little bit better. >> stay home. watch it on tv. you can get out perhaps better tomorrow. ron mott thanks for the report. let's go to another area buried under deep snow. that's connecticut. we have nbc's ron allen standing by for us in hartford. it looks a little better. you were being pelted earlier today. >> reporter: yeah, it stopped snowing, alex. the temperatures are as ron was saying hovering around freezing. it's very cold out here. you can see a lot of blowing and drifting snow. over here, this is snow that's been plowed by the plows off the main roadway. it's about four feet tall. but there are snowdrifts in other parts of the state as high as 7 or 8 feet. the highest snowfall total is about 38 inches. overall at the airport it's about 32 inches. they're saying this is the second biggest snowstorm ever in connecticut. we're also hearing now about two
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fatalities. one an 81-year-old woman who we understand was snow blowing her property and was hit-and-run over by a car, a car that kept going apparently unaware that they had caused this accident. the second incident which you just heard about in danbury, connecticut according to the mayor there. a man was on his porch shoveling. apparently fell, hit his head somehow. and it appears to be a storm-related death. the second one here in connecticut. as in rhode island and massachusetts, the order is to stay off the roads. you can see down here in downtown hartford this road is pretty clear. it's wide open. but it's still very difficult to get down there unless you have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. the sidewalks are being cleared. but this is about as good as it can get. a lot of people are looking at these reports and main roads and being a little deceived. the second air road are completely impassable. the plows haven't been able to
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get there yet. the interstate 84 is over there. the off ramps are blocked. there are so many stranded vehicles that are parked just under snowdrifts at the entranceways to highways, on city streets, because people didn't heed the warning to get off the roads or they in some cases ran out of gas trying to get where they had to go. so there are a lot of hazards like that still blocking traffic. it could be all day today, all day tomorrow we're hearing before the roads are completely cleared of stranded vehicles. so again, the governor, state official here are saying stay inside. let them get their work done. then maybe tomorrow perhaps you can venture out. alex? >> those parked cars that are buried i hope they don't have the same problems we had at the end of 2011 when we had in new york city? remember that? that was like a week's worth of trouble trying to navigate through those roads getting through all the parked cars that were buried. ron allen, thanks for the live report from hartford. to boston the nor'easter dropped nearly 22 feet of snow and left more than 405 customers
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without power state-wide. to the weather channel's eric fisher. he's in boston for us. it was snowing just a little short while ago. i see a couple little flakes there. yes, it's there. but the worst of the storm is over, right? so what's the big concern now? >> reporter: well, the big concern now is just trying to get back to normal. boston famous for the big dig. now we mean that in the snow sense. we've got 21.8 inches of snow at last check. we'll measure again at 1:00 p.m. we'll find out where this stand. right now it's the sixth biggest some. i'm getting it will be number three or two. if you look down the street you can see the snow blowing around. everyone is out taking pictures. it's not every day you see a snowstorm like this even in a place like boston. the roads are empty. you look down the road, that's the mass pike entrance. there are no cars. yesterday afternoon at rush hour you could look at some of the dot cameras here and there were no cars on the mass pike in or out of boston, which is incredible. you might not ever see that again for years and years to come. logan, they might not get a
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runway open until 11:00 p.m. tonight. which means maybe tomorrow we'll start to get some flights out. but normal activity is not going to be expected for some time. massachusetts hit the hardest by power outages. over 400,000 customers. when you think about snow banks like this, over two feet of snow, pretty much statewide from the berkshires to boston, it's going to be awhile before they can get to every neighborhood. some folks are going to have several days to go before the the lights come back on. when it's cold outside we know it's only fun for a few hours if you've got the family in a power out after a few days it is not a fun activity anymore. we'll be tracking what happens here at the totals. boston number six, portland, maine biggest snowstorm ever recorded. number two in hartford and number three in worchester. this is one for the record books in boston. >> just as the wind picks up we can wrap you up and send you back inside, eric. where is it still snowing? for the very latest forecast and
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all those snow totals, we go to nbc meteorologist bill karons. >> reporter: over the last 36 hours the evolution of this storm, this blizzard. as you watch it move up the east coast and then blossom just south of cape cod, now it is pushing over towards the canadian maritimes. from boston it's starting to improve. who still is dealing with a little bit of the snow problems throughout this region? let me show you the boston area. you notice it was only flurrying there. but it's still snowing pretty hard down on cape cod. one little batch of snowshowers to boston and hartford. .5 inch or so. for the most part you are done. to the north, though, our friend in maine are getting it good. we've already picked up over 30 inches of snow in portland. biggest snowstorm in the city's history. it's still snowing pretty good. back up there i-95 from augusta to bangor blizzard conditions right now. that's where the heavy snow band is set up. in maine this is going to last another couple hours probably until dark and then it should begin to improve.
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this is the map that shows how much snow fell throughout the region. that blue coloring i hardly ever put that on a map. usually it's like the sierra mountains or cascades. very rarely do we put that big of a shading anywhere in the eastern half of the country. but that's the two-foot-plus line that was pretty much from connecticut north wrds. i'm calling it the connecticut 30 inch club. so many spots in connecticut. that was really the bull's eye. new haven was 35 inches. a lot of these locations are near each other there in the new haven, connecticut area. even hartford was at 24 inches. there were other spots, too, well up on this list. i mentioned already new haven and hartford and portland. boston, mass 22. providence you got 20 inches of snow which is a big deal. new york city almost a foot. but again minor compared to everybody else. albany, new york really didn't see a lot. so now the problem is the winds. they are howling up in maine. that's still where it's very treacherous out there. a lot of blowing and drifting of snow. then on top of that we're going through the high tide cycle right now. we're just getting to the end of
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it. we've already seen some houses with water in them in areas like sandwich. you saw pictures off the top of the show with the water coming over. it doesn't look like it's too devastating. but those pictures are still coming in. >> absolutely. what is it? right along the coast it seems to be particularly heavy. you're right. usually it's in the mountains we get these kinds of 30 plus inches of snow. >> reporter: yeah. that's going to be something for the climate discussion as we go forward. on the heels of a san dirdy, th storm like this. we're only supposed to have a historical storm like this every few years. we're going to start lining them up one after another. tears not like the pressure of this storm was so crazy. sandy had a low pressure. more intense than we ever saw in new jersey and new york. but this, why did this one dump so much for the strength it was? something we're going to be studying. you hope this isn't the norm.
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>> still windy out there. flags rippling in the breeze. thanks, bill. we'll see you gempblgts here's how some of the northeast newspapers are reporting the story. on the front page of "news-day" in long island, new york, taken by storm. from the providence journal, blizzard bombards rhode island. the region preparing for up to three feet of snow. on the front page of the "hartford courant," the headline put succinctly "shut down". when will the travellers get out of the airports? how far reaching is the impact? we're going to take you to one of the nation's busiest airports for an update in that. one republican's plan to delay those dreaded automatic budget cuts next month. [ male announcer ] no matter what city you're playing tomorrow.
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worst. 15 inches of snow fell in parts of new jersey. new york may be the city that never sleeps but it's certainly a lot quieter than usual today. mayor bloomberg gave an update this morning about when things might be back to normal. >> we have roughly 2200 pieces of equipment plowing and salting in total. and have your chul virtually all primary streets have been plowed. we think all city streets will be plowed by the end of today. >> joining me from times square is paul goodloe. >> reporter: this is one of the highest points here in manhattan thanks to nor'easter to mention new jersey, 51 weeks from now you're going to have a super
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bowl at east rutherford. they picked up over 10 inches of snow from this system. this is a little food for thought. >> just saying. >> reporter: back here in manhattan, yeah, just saying. whoever decided this is a good place to have a super bowl, i'm just saying. it's winter. winter happens. snow happens. here in manhattan, at central park about a foochlt t. 11.4 inches. laguardia 12.4 inches. at a meteorologist we get all sorts of grief about forecasts. i have to pat myself on the back and the whole weather channel crew and meteorologists behind the scenes. we knew this was coming. the forecast was pretty much dead on for new york city. between 8 and 15 inches of snow. we got that around the city. some areas a little bit less like even jfk had about 6 inches. they had more rain than snow. but overall the city is faring pretty well. we've been here since yesterday afternoon. and plenty of plows coming through. plenty of salt trucks. not as clear in some of the areas, north and east of the
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city. areas of connecticut had 2 1/2 to 3 feet of snow. it will be awhile before they're cleared out. the airports are open here. but again flights are limited. you hope to get everything back into schedule as we head into this afternoon and into your sunday. alex? >> paul goodloe,safe getting down from that little pile there. appreciate it. we're going have much more coverage of this historic nor'easter coming up. we'll give you a report on the travel ripple effect this storm is having even across the world. now to politics, today first lady michelle obama is attending the funeral in chicago for hidea pendleton. the 15-year-old honor student shot and killed last week just about a mile from the obama's family home. she participated in inaugural events just a week earlier. meantime in his weekly address today, the president is warning the economy will get hit hard if automatic spending cuts scheduled for next month aren't delayed. >> the results could be a huge blow to middle class families and our economy as a whole. if the sequester is allowed to
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go forward, thousands of americans who work in fields like national security, education or clean energy are likely to be laid off. small businesses could be prevented from getting the resources and support they need to keep their doors open. all our economic progress could be put at risk. >> the president called for a plan that would include some spending cuts as well as the elimination of certain tax loopholes and deductions. but republicans are pushing back hard, saying they're done negotiating on taxes. one of those republicans is congressman mack thornberry from texas. he introduced a proposal this week that would delay the cuts for a year while delaying the implementation of obama care until 2016. he says that would save money. with me is that congressman, mack thornberry. thanks for joining me. >> you're welcome. >> let's talk sir about what the house has done. it's voted over 30 times to repeal some or all of obama care that. as you know has gone nowhere
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because senate democrats and the president are not going to go along with it. so what are your expectations? do you really expect democrats to go along with your plan? >> well, i think they should. obviously obama care is not going to be repealed while the president's in office. and at the same time, we know that more than half the states have said they're not going to set up the exchanges that are called for in obama care. so i don't know of anyone who thinks that the federal government is going to be ready to implement the full -- all this program next year. so why not delay it for a couple of years, give the federal government time to get its act together, and at the same time save more than twice the amount of money that would be saved with the sequester. so you actually i think would give the federal government a chance to do better on the health care but also prevent the sorts of things that the president was just talking about. >> well, you say that they should do it. will they do it, though? >> i don't know. there's several options out
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there on the table. the house passed a bill twice last year to substitute these across the board cuts with targeted cuts in high growth programs. a bill was introduced this past week by house and senate members of the armed services committee that says for every three federal employees who leave their job just replace one of them. that saves the amount of money you need. my health care delay. there are several options out there to prevent the sequestration but still get the savings from the budget. so i don't really care which one they take, but they ought to do something. >> as you heard the president this week attacked the gop for failing to give any ground on the sequestration. let's take a listen to that. >> they recognize that the sequester is a bad idea. but what they've suggested is that the only way to replace it now is for us to cut social security, cut medicare, and not close a single loophole. and i have to tell you, if that's an argument that they
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want to have before the court of public opinion, that is an argument i'm more than willing to engage in. >> they heard it, represent thornberry. the president says he is willing to go before the court of public opinion. republicans have gotten into these fights before. recently over the battle over the fiscal cliff. and you know that congress has a pretty close to rock bottom approval rating. so are you really confident that republicans will win this debate? >> well, i'm confident that at least a lot of the republicans are going to try to do the right thing for the country. you're exactly right. the country just went through two months of debate over the fiscal cliff. and part of that was the president got higher taxes that he's been seeking. that issue's decided. and so now we've got to deal with sequestration which is coming up on march 1st. and i just laid out for you three options, none of which touch social security or medicare, to save that much money that sequester would save
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or more. so there's a lot of options out there. the question is does the president want to come in off the campaign trail and actually be a commander in chief? >> you know, we're also showing a graphic as we listen to you talking about the possible side effects of sequestration. that would include job cuts. would you rather have the sequestration even if it costs this economy a lot of jobs than to give ground to the president on taxes? >> no. i don't want the sequestration. and i am concerned about job cuts. i'm even more concerned about what it does to our national security. you heard this week that our second carrier will not be in the persian gulf in the future. that's just a sampling, i think, of what it will do to our military. and that, i think, is the primary concern. in addition, however, i got to say the domestic side of this is no good, either. so you make cuts in faa, the bureau of prisons, medical research. this across the board approach is not good. >> cuts in education. kids are going to be kickeded
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out of head start programs. there's any number. homeless people, 100,000 might be across this country not given the kind of current housing that they have. there's a lot that would go into effect here. a lot of problems. >> exactly. and that's why there's, as i mentioned, at least three options i know of and probably others where you could prevent those things from happening but still begin to get down the road to getting our fiscal house in order, to deal with spending. remember the fiscal cliff deal didn't touch spending at all. and so that's what you've got to focus on to begin to make progress in our economic situation. >> all right. well, from texas, congressman mack thornberry. thank you for your time and ironing those things out in your plan. appreciate it. >> you bet. more than two feet of snowfall in massachusetts which is nearly a record there. there's something else that happened today for the first time since 1978. we've got a live report ahead. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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a new concern in some parts of the country after the snowfall. meteorologist bill karins will join us that. pictures from boston. look at those snow drifts all piled up. [ male announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance in sync? try align. it's the number one ge recommended probiotic that helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ stay in the groove with align. ♪ need help keeping your digestive balance in sync? try align. it's a probiotic that fortifies your digestive system with healthy bacteria 24/7. because your insides set the tone. stay in the groove with align. i work for 47 different companies. well, technically i work for one.
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step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. all your important legal matters in just minutes. protect your family... and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. this breaking news just past the half hour in the blizzard of 2013, the worst of it may not be over as concerns shiftd from falling snow to flooding and the snow-covered roadways where treacherous conditions have left three people dead. pedestrians in prospect, poughkeepsie and germantown, new york, a snowplower died when he drove over an embankment while clearing his own driveway.
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conditions out on the road have been so brutal the post office is cancelling services and closing branches in six states today. here's a look from the massive snow from space. before the storm intensified and grew even larger. welcome back everyone to "weekends with alex witt." let's go to the big question now. when is it going to be over? we'll get the very latest and snow totals from nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> reporter: this storm will be compared to the blizzard of 1978 in february that struck providence and boston and gave them their all-time record snow false. in that storm we had pictures caught on the highways. a lot of people got caught on the road unlike this time. that was good. we want to minimize the number of fatalities going forward. so they're actually telling people if you're using the generators got to make sure it has ventilation. we don't want carbon monoxide fatalities out of this. the 1978 blizzard had 100 fatalities. we had a handful and we don't want more.
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the temperatures over half a million people without power. you have to be where there's somewhere warm. sandy was bad. it was still cold after sandy, highs in the 40s and 50s. people were freezing. but this is dangerous cold. it can happen fast. we're very concerned with the elderly. temperatures are in the 20s right now. the forecast lows for tomorrow morning are going to be down in the teens and single digits in many of these areas that just got this snow. so again, make sure if you have neighbors that are elderly, if the power is out in your area or maybe next to a town next door, try to get these people to warm places. that's the difficulty right now in these very heavy amounts of snow. and it's not like we're going to melt a lot of the snow anytime soon. we're going to see a nice day on sunday with temperatures barely getting above freezing. that will help the roads possibly become more slushy. then on monday we've got some rain coming through, which is good. that will help a little bit. but even highs in the low 40s, we're only going to take a couple inches out of that 30 as we go throughout the next couple of days there in southern new england. the bottom line, alex, this storm just history making as far
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as the amount of snow, the coverage of snow, the number of states that got 30 inches of snow now includes new york state, connecticut, down through new hampshire, maine, and massachusetts. it's just incredible that it's that widespread. that's the rarity in this one. >> absolutely. you know i love what you're saying about being a good neighbor. i want to actually applaud governor cuomo who's sending all the resources needed to suffolk county. that's been really hard hit. he's also helping out our neighbors in massachusetts and connecticut. he's sending snowplows, utility crews to the really hard-hit areas. that's called being a good neighbor. are going to do the same for us. >> reporter: there are towns with 80 to 90% of the people without power. these people have to get out of there. go to hotels or somewhere else in different portions of the state. the only way to do that is to clear the roads. they got to do it in a hurry. >> they sure do. thank you so much. let's go now to connecticut and reporter doug green from nbc station wvit is live for us in waterbury. how's it going out there? what's it like where you are?
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>> reporter: it's cold, alex, and it's windy. but it has stopped snowing. it stopped about 9:00 in the morning. cleanup has begun already in this city about 70 middle east northeast of new york city. we have more snow than a lot of people have seen in their floois one time. some of the veteran plow drivers have come by. they say this is worse than the blizzard of 1978. but that was so long ago. it really doesn't matter. this is bad enough. we have thousands of people in connecticut without power. i'm trying to show you a man who's piling up snow, snow banking i call it, in order to get a gas station open here. so many people without power in connecticut, the bulk of them live in the area between the connecticut casinos and long island sound. i know the governor of connecticut is headed down that way to check out one of the shelters. dannel malloy has issued a travel ban, ordered people off all the streets large and small in connecticut so that plows like this one and the big plows that the state fields can get
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through and keep the roads open for emergency vehicles. that's the situation right now. live in waterbury, connecticut, i'm doug green. alex, back to you. >> doug, i'm loving the fact that we are only seeing those plows and those guys out on the roads. so people are heeding the call from governor malloy and letting those streets get cleared out before they start trying to barrel through them. so doug, thank you very much for the live report. new york area airports are slowly coming back to life. but the storm is creating havoc for fliers. nbc's raheema ellis, a little bit of foot traffic picking up behind you there. >> reporter: indeed, alex. it's funny. you see it's almost like you're thinking about a time lapse. when we got here, there was nobody at this airport. and i mean that really. and now we're starting to see people with their luggage heading down this corridor here to the security. and the chances are looking better that they're going to be able to get those flights out. of course those flights are the ones that are going south or
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west of here. nothing is being sent up north, as you just heard those reports about how bad the snowstorm has hit those folks in new england. not so long ago mayor bloomberg said new york dodged a bullet. indeed they have. we have here. and we've seen cruise out on the runways here at laguardia pushing back the snow and making certain that before too long, they tell me, they hope to get this airport back up and running. the good thing about this, i've said it before, got to say it again. saturday is a light travel day. it gives them a chance without a whole lot of worry to say, let's do what we have to do to get these spots for the planes clean so people can come on in and travel off. we saw a family today that was making their way to miami. and it looks like their flight was able to take off this afternoon. >> well, lucky for them. and wouldn't it be nice? we can only think about that. raheema ellis, thank you.
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well, we have much more on the storm to come. putting the business angle of the storm. but to recap for all of you, more than half a million customers remain without power across the region. all roads are closed in the states of massachusetts, connecticut and rhode island. and at least three people, some reports of four having died. now to politics and his new weekly address today, president obama issued a warning about the latest fiscal crisis threatening the u.s. economy. >> if congress doesn't act by march 1st, a series of harmful automatic cuts to job-creating investment and defense spending, also known as the sequester, are scheduled to take effect. and the results could be a huge blow to middle class families and our economy as a whole. >> joining me now for today's strategy talk, is former u.s. senator and majority leader tom daschell, senior policy adviser for dla piper and author of a new book "the u.s. senate." looks like a great book. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure, alex. >> so let's talk about the white
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house what it was doing yesterday painting really a dire picture of what sequestration would look like. among the things they talk about, 70,000 kids losing head start services. 10,000 teaching jobs at risk. cuts to food inspections. cuts to the fbi, hundreds of federal prosecutors furloughed. that's just a small sample, senator. are they exaggerating at all for the sake of argument? or do you really think it would be that bad? >> i think it would be that bad and maybe even worse. i think, alex, this is yet another one of these crisis-driven decisions that the congress is going to have to make with the realization that failure to do so could have devastating consequences. we're talking about the winter storms. we just celebrated groundhog day a couple of days ago. i think we're in groundhog day phase three for this year. and i have to say it's getting a little weary. people are getting very concerned about these crises, these 11th-hour decision that is constantly have to be made. but president is right. the consequences yet again for
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not making the right decisions could be devastating. >> i can't imagine anybody is not weary. i heartily agree with you on that assessment. how about the possibility of a deal, sir? any chances we'll be reached before the deadline? if not can we even afford a short period of this sequestration? >> well, the disruption that sequestration causes is really very concerning. even the defense department has announced already a lot of the decisions they've had to make anticipation of these decisions. even if it is a short term, the disruption and the economic consequences could be very severe. so i'm hopeful. you asked about a deal. i would say that it's only about 50-50. but i think as people begin to realize just how serious this problem really could be, more and more of the republicans are going to come around to the belief that there are other ways to make their point. we can resolve this. we have to address the fiscal challenges we face. but not in the crisis-driven mode we're in right now. >> but you almost have to
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address what this is doing overall. the self-created cry eaises, fi cliff, sequestration. is this any way to run a country? >> i just came back from a fairly extensive trip in asia. you wouldn't believe how amazed people are in these other countries as they watch the united states in disbelief. they just can't believe it washington could be this dysfunctional over and over again. and it's really a devastating portrait of the united states. and i think having a very consequential effect on our image abroad. so this isn't just a domestic issue. in many respects it's an international issue affecting our country and the way we're viewed around the world for perhaps quite a long time. >> in this book, it's a new textbook on the u.s. senate that you just wrote. how do you explain in it this fractured almost fanatically partisan era to students? >> well, it's been a great project to try to do. because i think students have to
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understand. the institution itself is not broken. it's a lot of the people running the institution, especially on the republican side. the people who are not willing to compromise. governance requires coming to the middle. it requires common ground. to the extent that people insist on standing their ground alone, you get the dysfunctional results that we've seen now over and over again this year. and in the past couple of years. >> do you think it's at all fair to also turn the mirror on the democrats on your party? >> well, obviously these arrangements, these problems occur on both sides. i must say, i don't think there's much doubt, however, that democrats especially the president have been willing to come to the middle. has been willing to suggest ways with which to find compromise. we just haven't seen very much on the other side. but clearly, i think we both have a job to do. and reconciliation and finding ways with which to address these challenges in a much more consequential way. i give the president great credit for making the effort to
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do just that. >> i want to quickly run with you with the big story this week, the obama administration's drone program in which we learned some new details about it and the leaked justice department memo and john brennan's confirmation hearings. the big question is the killing of american citizens. do you believe, snork snorks that those strikes are warranted? >> well, i don't have the details and information necessary to make that judgment. but i do believe that it's a threshold that we have to be very, very careful about, alex. this sets a dangerous precedent going forward. we've always been a country of the rule of law. and the rule of law has constitutional elements to it that are guaranteed all citizens. and so i'm concerned about it. i think we have to give it very careful thought and really question whether this is something we ought to do in a permanent way. security is important. but so are the constitutional rights afforded every american. >> well, senator tom daschell, many thanks for your time. good luck with the book. i hope itfares well with students across the country. thank you. >> my pleasure.
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the threat from the blizzard is not over. you're going to see what could be the next danger and it's already developing in one coastal town. ught in with multiple lacerations to the wing and a fractured beak. surgery was successful, but he will be in a cast until it is fully healed, possibly several months. so, if the duck isn't able to work, how will he pay for his living expenses? aflac. like his rent and car payments? aflac. what about gas and groceries? aflac. cell phone? aflac, but i doubt he'll be using his phone for quite a while cause like i said, he has a fractured beak. [ male announcer ] send the aflac duck a get-well card at getwellduck.com.
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47 past. breaking news and new video in from long island, new york where crews are busy rescuering drivers. they've been stranded on snow-covered roads. nearly 150 cars were trapped or abandoned on the long island expressway. officials say the cars are hampering their efforts to clear the roadways as quickly as possible. several hundred snowplows are headed to that area right now. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." in this week's office politics, congressional medal of honor recipient colonel jack jacobs, also a msnbc military analyst familiar to many of you. on monday president obama is awarding another congressional medal of honor. it is the highest award bestowed on military personnel. and it got me thinking about what someone must do to be given such an honor. so i asked colonel jack.
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while he was typically modest about his experience, his is a story of bravery and selflessness in the face of mortal danger. >> well, if you ask any recipient about his action he won't talk about it. he'll tell you about everybody else's action. i think most recipients are like that. because most people who get recognized for combat action, whether it's medal of honor or anything else, all would rather talk about the other people who were brave on that day. but in a nutshell, i was an adviser to a vietnam ease infantry battalion. we had lost contact with the enemy about three days earlier. got some information about where they were located and mount add operation to get them. we didn't know they had a spy in the province chief headquarters. they knew we were coming. they had known for three days. they had about three days to gather up about 250 viet cong, build bunkers and em placements and set up a huge l-shaped
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ambush. we walked into it. and lost a lot of people right at the very beginning, 50 or more killed and wounded in the first few second of the battle. managed to prevail in the end. very, very lucky. and there were a lot of brave people on that day, not just me. >> but i'm going to press you. what did you do? how many people did you save? >> i went out and got quite a few. half of them didn't survive. they were all caught out in the open. >> but weren't you injured? >> oh, yeah. i was wounded. i had a very bad head wound. but there are lots of people. everybody was wounded. >> wait, jack, when you say a head wound, what kind of a head wound? >> i had a piece of shrapnel from a .82 millimeter mortar round go into my head and open it up. i had a piece of shrapnel stuck in my left eye. and my face all the bones in my
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face were broken and my nose was over here and so on. >> okay. so you had that kind of a situation and yet you still persevered and went after getting your buddys. >> yeah. but you don't realize first of all how badly you're wounded. there's a lot of denial that takes place. oh, i'm not going to get wounded. it's going to happen to somebody else. then when it really does happen to you you convince yourself that you're going to just be okay until you're not going to be okay. >> is that adrenaline? what is that? >> i think so. i think it's a natural human reaction to a difficult situation. you deny that things are bad until they're so bad that they can't get any worse. if you're in the military organization you do things at least partially because these are your brothers and sisters, and you know they'll do it for you if you were in the same situation. >> is there a fear of death? >> oh, sure. >> but how can you function with that fear? i mean, do you have to put it away? >> no, no. i think very interesting.
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if you run across anybody who says he was in combat and he was not scared, he's a dying dog. you can tell him i said so. have him come visit me. i'll tell it to him to his face. everybody i know is scared in combat. i was scared all the time i was in combat and so was everybody else. as a medal of honor recipient named bud hawk from the second world war, i think. he once said, you know, the absence of fear in combat is just the absence of intelligence. real bravery comes from being -- from being really scared out of your pants but doing it anyway because you know you have to. people are depending on you. if you don't do what you have to do, then the people on the left and the right don't have a chance. and you're all in it together. >> how many congressional medal of honor recipients are there? >> 79. >> one more being added to the list. one more. there'll be 80. >> on monday president obama will bestow another medal on
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u.s. army staff sergeant clinton romesha for his bravery back in 2009 during the battle at combat outpost keating in afghanistan. we're going to have more of our conversation with colonel jacobs tomorrow at 12 noon when he discusses the current drone operations overseas and the acute problem of ptsd here at home. coming up, the dangers of digging out from the storm.
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bringing you live pictures. they are digging out in hartford, connecticut. pretty hard hit in this blizzard of 2013. in minutes we'll have the latest on where the big concern now lies. meteorologist bill karins will join me for all of that. first let's take a look at a few more still images. this is one from boston. that's a beaut. cars or something buried under there. this one from boston as well. a bit further up the coast this picture is from bill rikka up in maine. i wonder if that is him.
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we'll bring you more images from the storm in just a bit. in a moment reports from areas hardest hit by the blizzard. plus when will those stranded air travellers be able to take off? . and they help keep static off in the cold so my clothes will never embarrass me. mommy, i dressed the snowman! how do you get your bounce? less static year-round. to fly home for the big family reunion. you must be garth's father? hello. mother. mother! traveling is easy with the venture card because you can fly any airline anytime. two words. double miles! this guy can act. wanna play dodge rock? oh, you guys! and with double miles you can actually use, you never miss the fun. beard growing contest and go! ♪ i win! what's in your wallet? to compete on the global stage. what we need are people
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... and more bandages. that's powerful. shareable data plus unlimited talk and text. now save $50 on a droid razr maxx hd by motorola. the record-setting blizzard of 2013 has hit the northeast hard. as of now deepest snow measurements are coming from connecticut. much of that state is buried in more than three feet of snow. we have reports from massachusetts, connecticut, new york and rhode island for you. hello, everyone. and welcome to "weekends with alex witt." let's get you the very latest right now. stern warnings from state officials. stay off the roads. drivers are banned from the roads in massachusetts, connecticut and rhode island. new power numbers just in to share. more than half a million customers are without power across the region, but that number is slowly going down. most of them are in massachusetts with more than 400,000 outages in that state
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alone. rhode island has nearly 172,000 without power. connecticut more than 40,000 outages. and strong winds and high tides are battering the massachusetts coastline. reporter susan trent from our nbc affiliate whdh was on plum island right as the high tide slammed into the coast. >> reporter: i can show you what is going on with the ocean right now at high tide. the erosion has actually eaten up onto a floor of this home. there are pieces of furniture coming out of that home and washing into the ocean. it is just a couple of seconds ago right before i came out here. we saw a mattress and a springboard actually come out of the flooring of that home and then wash -- start washing out into the ocean. oh, my goodness. you can see the waves crashing right onto shore here. >> well, providence, rhode island fell just a little short of an all-time snowfall record. they are digging out from 19 1/2 inches today. and joining me from downtown
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providence is nbc news's ron mott where things are picking up wind-wise, ron. >> reporter: wind-wise indeed, alex. good saturday to you. we're starting to see a lot more people come out of their apartments here downtown. i'm assuming there's a little cabin fever setting in for a lot of folks. it's only 1:00. but granted they want to get out and get a little bit of daylight before the light goes away here in four or five hours. 19 1/2 inches. as you mentioned, we think most of the snow is probably done here in providence, which is great news. but obviously as you can see, alex, there's a lot of snow on the roadways down here. some of the streets have been cleared out downtown. for all practical purposes it's a ghost town down here. and one of the things you mentioned, there is an active ban on travel throughout the state of rhode island. a friend of mine used to say that 10% never gets the word. we've seen a lot of the 10% out here. a lot of folks out joy riding. one guy stopped here at the light and got out to take a picture of the state capitol
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which is quite a beautiful picture. one thing we want to talk about, power outages, you mentioned about about 171,000 here in rhode island. that's about 35% of national grid's consumers here in electricity in rhode island. that's a significant outage. a lot of folks are going to be without power probably for days because it's going to take awhile for the crews to get out to assess the damages. they're prioritizing hospitals and places like that first. elderly nursing homes. want to get power to those places before they go back into some of the residential neighborhoods. the temperatures are going to be a real concern tonight. we're expecting single digits, 9 degrees with wind chills taking us below 0. for those folks without power, hopefully you can find a ride someplace where there is heat or huddle up. get a space heater and maybe a generator to at least get through the roughest parts of the night. one thing the providence mayorer is trying to remind folks especially while we still have some light out here is that there is a city ordinance here.
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you are required to clear the the sidewalks on your property within eight hours of daylight hours after a storm like this. so if you need something to do to burn off some frustration, get the shovels, go outside and clear out those sidewalks. those are public rights of way. especially the fire hydrants. clear around there in case there is a need for emergency. fire official want to be able to get to those hydrants. so there is some work to be done for everybody we're here. we all share a responsibility in digging out, alex. >> it was a communially hard-fet storm tomorrow. connecticut where people are spending days digging out from 30 inches of snow in some places. nbc's ron allen is live for us in hartford right in front of someplace where the snowplow has built up. good day to you, ron. >> reporter: yeah, alex, right in front of the hilton hotel which has been very comfortable here. not trying to plug them too much but it's been great to be here. right over here you can see what all the snow and blowing is. that gentleman in the green i
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believe is the chief engineer here. you can see how hard he's working. so maybe he's getting a little something extra from hilton because of his efforts. but anyway, all over town that's what's happening here. people trying to dig out and clear away. the snowdrifts, this is a pile of snow. the drifts are up to 4 or 5 feet in some places. there's a lot of blowing snow around. as you said, the highest accumulations were up in the 30 inch range. overall it's about -- it's being called the second biggest snowstorm ever in the state's history. down here you can see the sidewalks are cleared. but this is downtown. this is about as good as it gets. the governor and others are warning people to stay in their homes because the secondary roads are still impassable in a lot of places. and they say one of the biggest problems they're having is that there are so many cars that are stranded. just behind here, you can't see it but there's the main interstate i-84. the on ramp is blocked by a car that was either coming or going
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or something but got stranded there last night in the snow. so again they're urging people stay off the roads. stay in your homes to the merge cruise can get out there and make several passes to clear the way. >> thank you for that as we see those cars some of them away they go being taken away by tow trucks once they dig out. thank you, ron. let's go now to new york city's central park and jonathan bigliotti is there live for us. a lot of people seem to be having some fun now that the snow is subsided and the sun's out. >> reporter: yeah, good afternoon to you can alex. it's a great afternoon for new york city kids. we are here in central park. you can see how these kids are dealing with the aftermath of this blizzard. these newly-formed slopes if you will have now been taken over by the kids. sledding a very popular option here. we've also seen kids with skis and even snowboard. obviously it's a little bit of a different situation when you're out on the streets driving through this area. we have been doing so for the
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entire morning through all five boroughs. we've seen the best of this blizzard and also the worst. the best being in staten island where there they only got about 2 1/2 inches in certain areas. great news for them. they didn't lose any power. big concern for so many people there who are still dealing with the aftermath of hurricane sandy. the worst of the blizzard, if you will, taking place in parts of the bronx. they saw about a foot of snow. though the mayor, michael bloomberg, speaking during a press conference that we were at earlier this morning in queens said really the city dodged a big bullet. he also went on to really thank and commend all the work done the sanitation department. 2200 trucks have been out on the streets since yesterday afternoon putting down all that salt and sand, really prepping for this storm. now obviously on the streets clearing them off. i got to tell you, the main arteries in the city, the highways as well look really clear. relatively easy to pass through. the side streets, the secondary streets we're hearing everybody talk about, there's still a pretty big problem there.
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got to take this into consideration. 6200 miles of streets that the city has to clean up. and listen to this. the mayor with a very ambitious deadline here says that the city will be up and running all the streets cleared off by the end of tonight. a much different story than two years ago if you remember when we were swallowed in snow. in fact, this year what a difference two years makes. the mayor saying that he will offer any services he can to other parts of the state. obviously as we know long island parts there really right now up to their knees in snow. those cars that we saw there stranded there. he's offering their help. he's also telling people here in the city to stay off the roads for at least another day. the reason, he says, is that as long as these cars are off the streets the plows will have an easier time to get through and to clear up all the slush and snow so that deadline of opening up all the streets, clearing them all out by tonight will be met. so for now, it seems, alex, the best place to be we would
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imagine is here on the slopes behind me. and a lot of kids as you can see clearly taking advantage of it. >> absolutely, jonathan. not to minimize what's going on around the rest of new york and new england with all of this, it sure is a mess. but i'm loving lingering on this picture. what a great day for the kids and all those parents who have come out with them. so we love hearing the laughter and watching the fun. and thank you for bringing us at least that happy side to this horrible event. thank you, jonathan. so how deep did the snow get and where did that happen? let's get right to nbc meteorologist bill karins with all of the numbers. hey, bill. >> reporter: alex, what a difference. 11 inches of snow. some areas of new england that have 30 inches of snow and no power to go home. to it's a different ball game. a big difference when you lose power in the middle of winter and when you don't. our friends in maine, i bet some of you are still losing power. wind gusting to 40 miles per hour. this heavy band of snow has been lingering from rockland to
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bangor. i think they'll have 35 to 40 inches when they're done. their all-time record they already broke it at 29. this could be off the charts for some areas of coastal maine. your snow won't end until tonight. so what happened? how much snow did we get? the area of blue which is incredible, two feet of snow covers all the way from coastal maine down through eastern mass, eastern new hampshire. and it almost avoided portions of cape cod and rhode island and went smack into connecticut. the 30 inch club in connecticut is very impressive. i have yet to see someone come in with 40 inches. millford still at the top of the list. new haven, connecticut the hardest hit county. portland, maine still adding it up at 29. boston 22. and all of these on the list are top five all-time including concord, new hampshire which is new to the list. you are second all-time with 20 inches of snow. and again the big concern, half a million people without power. temperatures in the teens. and tomorrow morning
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temperatures drop to the single digits. and in some cases like providence down to 11. you cannot stay in your house with these temperatures. i know the sun is now out, alex, in many spots. if many people are even considering staying in their homes don't do it. they need to get somewhere warm and get there. >> bill, are you losing your voice? >> reporter: it made it this far. so it's close. >> okay. your free to go. >> reporter: thank you. >> thank you for the herculean effort. the state-of-the-union. a warning from the president about the impending sequester cuts and the impact it could have on most americans. ] when u wear dentures you may not know that your mouth is under attack, from food particles and bacteria. try fixodent. it helps create a food seal defense for a clean mouth and kills bacteria for fresh breath. ♪ fixodent, and forget it.
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like it never happened. look at that. this is new york's times square. not very much evidence left of the blizzard of 2013. granted, new york city didn't
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get the hardest hit. but it is remarkable how quickly the snow has been cleared away by a lot of people's hard work and efforts. welcome back, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." in boston, that nor'easter dropped nearly 2 feet of snow and left more than 405,000 customers state-wide without power. let's go to the weather channel's erik fisher who's there in boston for us. so erik, what a difference. i was just showing times square where it looks lovely. not at all where you are. it looks like you still have some wind blowing, right? >> reporter: i think it depend on your definition of lovely. out here in boston it's cold, it's windy. the snow is wrapping up toward cape cod we've still got the snow. that will hold on through the afternoon. the city we're pretty much done with any accumulation. i just think it's amazing. how many times can you stand out on st. james avenue and dartmouth street? there's no cars. there's no one out here whatsoever except for the people walking around. why so many people are out, once in a generation type of opportunity where the whole city has been shut down by this winter storm. now, the update that we just got
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in from the governor's office is that they are starting to open up some of the roads across the state. remember he issued that executive order yesterday saying that no vehicles could be out on the roads. that is lifted for nantucket and any of the roads west of i-91. out by springfield, west of there to the berkshires travel is now okayed on the roads. it will be lifted at 4:00 state-wide for all of massachusetts. so they've had time to get out on the streets. they have all hands on deck here trying to clear the major thoroughfares. they think we will be able to safely travel again by late on today for the whole state. if you're traveling by air we don't have a lot of good news for you. boston logan not expected to open a runway until at least 11:00 tonight. that's just to open a runway and start to get the equipment back in. then tomorrow we start to work through the backlog. then on monday i'm sure there will still be plenty of delays. so people who have been here in the hotels in the streets, they're going to be here for a couple of days yet before we can get things back to normal. but the banks are high. and alex, i got to say, it's
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amazing. we were in a top six snowstorm here. we'll get an update for the snow total in the city within the hour. but in '78 we had almost the same amount of snow but a 2-foot storm a week before. so imagine these banks up to here. that's what they were dealing with 35 years ago. >> we wouldn't be able to see you, erik fisher. anyway, listen. it's all good at this point. >> might be an improvement to the report, right? >> not at all. don't you go there. erik fisher, thank you so much there from boston. let's go now to politics. president obama is on a mission to avoid a series of automatic cuts that could kick in on march 1st. during his weekly address, president obama slammed the republicans' approach on the sequester. >> the current republican plan puts the burden of avoiding those cuts mainly on seniors and middle class families. they'd rather ask more from the vast majority of americans and put our recovery at risk than close even a single tax loophole that benefits the wealthy. >> let's go to nbc's kristen welker who's standing by at the white house. wow, green lawn!
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i can't even believe that shot behind you. haven't seen any of that today. >> reporter: it's still here. >> it's lovely there. what about the white house in terms of trying to avoid another knock down drag out fight with republicans over this sequester? we just saw this a little over a month ago, kristen. >> reporter: i know. it's absolutely true, alex. the white house seems to have a strategy that includes first of all calling on congress to pass a short-term deal. the president making the argument that there's really not enough time to get something long done, something over ten years, for example. and then secondly, we saw this on friday. the white house really painting a dire picture of what would happen if the sequester does in fact kick into effect, making the point it would include 9% cuts to nondefense spending, things like education, food safety, law enforcement. and then 13% to defense spending. that is something that outgoing defense secretary leon panetta has said could impact military preparedness. that's sort of the approach. alex i have to tell you. as we have seen in the past,
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both sides are really digging in and we're seeing the same old sticking points. president obama making the case that he wants any package to include new revenues. they have put forth ideas that include rolling back tax breaks for big companies, large corporations, oil and gas companies. republicans say look, we just gave the president new taxes in the last budget battle. so they are saying that this should solely be worked on in terms of entitlement reform. so those are the sticking points. but alex i have to tell you, economists have warned that if the sequester does in fact kick into effect it could have a negative impact on the economy. >> kristen, looking ahead to the state-of-the-union speech, how much do you think we'll hear from the president on his fight to protect the middle class? >> reporter: i think that's going to be a big focus of president obama's state-of-the-union address. i think he's going to talk about the economy and really focus on the ways in which he would like to see the middle class get back on track. i am told that the themes will echo a lot of what we heard on the campaign trail. i can also tell you that the president at this point in time
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has a strong working draft of his state-of-the-union address, and his staff has really worked hard to make sure he has had a light schedule specifically during the nighttime this past week heading into this weekend so he can work on putting the final touches on that address. >> you're going to be very glad to know, kristen, my next guest was nodding at your report. he's a guy who's well aware of what state-of-the-union speeches are all about. thank you very much. you've been validated. for an inside look at how much goes into the state-of-the-union address i'm joined by michael waldman who served as chief speech writer and assistant to bill clinton and now president of nyu's law school's brennan center for justice. glad to have you here. >> good to be here. >> i love the behind the scenes. . for those of us who have watched "west wing" you think this what is happens when it goes into making a state-of-the-union speech. but give meet truth of it. what is it all about? >> people don't walk around the halls and talk quite as much as in "west wing." but the kind of chaotic all
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directions information coming in, that's pretty accurate. for any president, the state-of-the-union address, it's their big chance to talk to the whole country about their policy agenda. so every word matters. it's not just the speech, it's an agenda. now, president obama did just win re-election with a pretty clear case of what he wants to talk about. and he has a chance to lay some details out on the budget, on immigration, on voter reform. things he's talked about in recent weeks. >> so are you saying then that second term state-of-the-union speeches are different in their tenor? are they more bold than they are first term? or less cautious or what? >> that's a great question. i mean, a first term -- the first state-of-the-union that any president gives the theme is change. but of course, this team contin. a lot of the same battles going on between the congress and the
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president. i don't think this is likely to be a time for just not saying much. i think there's big issues, big chances for cooperation. a big issues that haven't been flushed out. and a chance in a speech like this to really draw a line on something like the budget in full public view, where a lot of the polling suggests the president's positions on taxes or on spending are popular. >> yeah. how would you rate president obama's past state-of-the-union speeches? >> i think that one of the most important ways to have a successful state-of-the-union speech is to surprise us a little bit with a new policy or a new argument. some of the speeches he's given have not done that. but i think his inaugural address this past term was powerful. surprising. and so maybe that suggests a newboldness in his second term. >> but how about the rhetoric used if you will? i've heard it said that you wish the president would be a little less stiff with his prose, invoke a little more poetry into
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his speeches, as he did in this inaugural address. do you think he will do that in this state-of-the-union? is that the place to do it? >> well, look, any state of the union is something of an eloquent laundry list if you're lucky. there's a lot that goes into it. i'm less worried about the poetry and the words -- his speech writers used to talk about don't write to have words chiseled on the wall of the presidential library. i want to know what the ideas are. they should be powerful ideas. maybe they're not going to get it passed in this congress. let me give you a good example. president obama on election night and in his inaugural address talked about the great sweep of american history on voting and how we shouldn't have people waiting seven hours in line to vote. he can put out some new and exciting ideas about what we can do to deal with long lines, early voting, modernizing registration that will be new from him. it would stir some controversy. but i think it would be the kind of thing that would make a speech like this a success. >> talk about your experience
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writing with president clinton. what was that like? >> each one of these speeches is a place where presidential personality and politics and policy all come together. and bill clinton, as you can imagine, loved this format. he loved the chance to talk. >> there you are. look at that. >> with now justice elena kagan, supreme court, who worked on the speeches. you can see she was a policy aide and a lawyer. but she was working on the state-of-the-union address because it's not just a speech. it's really a critical political and policy document. so president clinton would reserve weeks to try to focus on it. one, sometimes two dozen drafts. he would write not alone with a laptop but he liked to write by talking, standing up. that's a photo in the family theater of the white house where he would rehearse and write from the podium. and we would try to keep up and catch his changes and catch his words. president obama is such a gifted writer. and my understanding is in
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addition to the in person rehearsals he's really sitting there with the text, fiddling with the words. each one of these presidents does it differently, and it's got to reflect their own style and approach. >> i loft behind the scenes, michael waldman, thanks for bringing it to us. >> my pleasure. if you're hoping to catch a flight anytime soon this, storm could affect your chances of getting out on line. we've got a live report ahead on "weekends with alex witt." on tk from identity theft. to protect you from being a victim in the first place, we have specialists for that, too. ♪ [ alarm blaring ] ♪ [ lasers zapping ] ♪ yep. we make a pretty good team. [ male announcer ] call 1-800-lifelock or go to lifelock.com today.
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swiffer gives cleaning a whole new meaning. and now swiffer wet and dry refills are available with the fresh scent of gain. breaking news. right now hundreds of snowplows are rushing to long island, new york where nearly 150 cars are trapped on snow-packed roads. crews are busy rescuing drivers today. some were forced to use snomobiles to get to them. those trench orrous conditions left four people dead. prospect, connecticut and poughkeepsie, new york died from car accidents. in danbury a man died after slipping on his own porch. in germantown, new york, a snowplower died while he drove over an em bangment clearing his own drive way. massachusetts governor duval patrick just announced the state's travel ban will end at 4:00 p.m. today. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." this storm is lingering over parts of new england right now. the snowfall is still piling up in certain locations. weather channel meteorologist today santos is joining me now
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with this question, todd, when will things return to normal? >> reporter: hey there, alex. it may take awhile for many areas. because this is coming into saturday they've had time to work at clearing the roadways. awe yoengsed we're still dealing with a lot of areas of snowfall. monday we should have chance of rain in and around above the boston. that may help melt things quickly. the system is starting to move away from the coast. not out of the woods for cape cod. i wanted to mention some of the five boroughs. snowfall totals between 5 and 10 inches. laguardia over a foot there. starting to get things back to normal in airport. bradley connecticut not expected to open until 6:00 tonight as far as maybe getting traffic out. boston may take until late tonight before they get things moving again. there's a look at isolated snowfall totals. millford, connecticut 38 inches. a huge area of 2 foot plus
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pushing into portions of coastal maine. still a few areas there north of cape cod where we have ocean-enhanced snowfall. think about when we talk about lake effects snow. many of the waters here around cape cod are actually warmer than the great lakes working with some of that cold air, enhancing some of that snowfall across the central kachlt notice boston is starting to wind down. a few areas back to southeastern new hampshire still snowfall. maine with a couple more inches to go. i know we've already wound this down around new york city. but you see that huge stripe of 24 inches. that follows a major area of i-95, i-90, southern portions of i-93 towards boston. still staying off the road's the best thing you can do. even as the plows go through you deal with winds like this. western massachusetts around 14 miles per hour. but check out boston, 25 miles per hour sustained out of the northwest. that is helping to blow some of the snow right in right after the snowplows move by. as far as where we're likely to be heading, late tonight we'll slowly see those winds fading
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from west to east. out towards the cape and boston by 2:00 a.m. you're still in the 15 to 20-mile-per-hour range. still 20 to 30 around province town. it should quiet down fairly quickly into your sunday. at this point you're mainly just dealing with trying to clean up from huge amounts of snowfall, in many cases well over a foot, foot and a half for a lot of areas. i want to mention there will be a couple areas that could see a chance for severe weather later tonight. want to have folks on alert around dallas, toward western kansas. let's say western oklahoma as well. may see some hail and spotty damaging winds. even isolated tornado. back to you. >> okay. good you got that heads up for the center part of the country. thank you, todd santos. the storm is creating havoc for fliers. airlines cancelling more than 5,000 flights in the last couple of days before the storm began. nbc's rahema ellis is live at laguardia airport. how much of a ripple effect has this had in terms of travel nation-wide? >> reporter: you can imagine this being a major airport in the country, when things don't
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happen here they don't happen in other places as well. we knew of some 40 flights even coming from london that were canceled as a result of the storm that was on its way here. people who had been trying to get here from other places, they weren't making it, either, because the airport was shut down. want to tell you one bit of good news we just saw on our monitor here that a flight from nashville has arrived. and so that's good news in terms of things starting to pick up. there are a couple of other flights that are still trying to go south and west of here. but word on the board now is that they're delayed. somebody might say oh, boy, that's bad news. but in a line where everything had been canceled, it is pretty good news to hear something's delayed. maybe they're going to get themselves up and going at some point before the afternoon is over. nowhere near normal here at the airport, alex. but it is getting better. >> okay. well, we like the positive spin at the end there, thank you very much, nbc's rehema ellis. right now for 40,000 people
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in connecticut are still without power in hartford 22 inches of snow have accumulated. that's the second highest total ever. joining me now on the phone hartford mayor pedro segala. let's get the latest status on your city. how do things look outside now? >> it's still very sloppy. we've been concentrating on our major roads. those are the roads that basically provide access for our hospitals. we have three major hospitals in the city that service the whole region. so we've been trying to keep those clear for traffic to go through. but we still have a couple of people out that should be home. and are still driving around. it just slows up our operations. we've issued a no driving ban. the governor has also issued a state of emergency and a no driving ban. but we're hopeful that those people can get off the roads. it's just slowing things down. we need to get to our side roads. we have a lot of people that want to get dug out. the quickest we finish those
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we'll be able to move onto the side streets. >> you certainly want to keep the emergency pathways open to the hospitals as you were mentioning. how about any confirmed deaths in your area that we have yet to hear about? i know the word can sometimes get out slowly. but we do have two at least state-wide there. any emergencies you know about there in hartford? >> the most important emergency that we got we did receive a call from a youth that was in a vehicle that was parked. parents were trying to clear the snow from the vehicle. some of the carbon monoxide fumes apparently made it into the vehicle. they were able to provide first aid and the person is doing fine. that's one more reason we don't want people to attempt to be in their vehicles. it's a good thing to stay home. just watch some tv. fortunately we only had just a dozen or so households without electricity. so power outages have not been a major concern for us. but really at this point we just need people to just get off the streets. >> yeah. you know, i was really proud of
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our governor here in new york. he said not only is he deploying supplies to areas in suffolk county that need it but he's also trying to reach a helping hand out to folks there in connecticut and in massachusetts. you're sending snowplows and front loaders and utility crews. do you have all the resources that you need there? hartford? or do you need some help? >> we need some help. we need some help. we have all of our plows out. but it's just an incredible amount of snow to get it all out of the way. and it's going to require an effort of loading on the snow into trucks and hauling it out. we've done a good job in our major streets, but still we're going to do curb to curb. it's going to definitely increase the volume on the aprons and on the sidewalk. we need to avoid that because it on structure visibility and presents a danger to our pedestrians. and also for vehicles once they get moving. because it's kind of hard to see around the corners. so eventually we're going to have to load this white stuff
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into trucks and haul it out to designated areas that we have ready. hopefully just continue the clean up effort. >> mayor pedro segarra of hartford, connecticut. good luck to you, sir, as you get through it all. >> thanks so much. coming up the next big three, president obama's drone program under scrutiny. would democrats be tougher if it was a republican president? , bl? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. how do you keep an older car running like new? you ask a ford customer. when they tell you that you need your oil changed you got to bring it in. if your tires need to be rotated, you have to get that done as well. jackie, tell me why somebody should bring they're car here to the ford dealership for service instead of any one of those other places out there. they are going to take care of my car because this is where it came from. price is right no problem, they make you feel like you're a family. get a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation and much more, $29.95 after $10.00 rebate.
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and save on refills at advaircopd.com. it's not for colds. it's not for pain. it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing™. ♪ zzzquil™. the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil®. as you might imagine, a lot of new video coming into us from all parts showing images from this blizzard of 2013. look at this. home video from a new york-area farm of the horses there frolicking through the deep snow. it actually looks like they're having fun. let's have a little more fun. get a quick check with craig melvin on what's ahead for the next three hours. >> alex we'll of course have the very latest on the storm. also top political stories throughout the show as well. and the postal service has been cut off in much of the northeast today because of the storm. and that's going to be the new normal for the entire country
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come august as the u.s. post office cuts saturday deliveries. i'm going to have the postmaster general patrick donahoe. he will join me on the show today. he'll be my special guest at 4:00. we'll talk about ways to save the post office. >> pretty important stuff. i use it all the time. thank you very much, craig melvin. let's get a report now from the weather channel's mike seidel in massachusetts where the nor'easter is causing serious havoc on the coastline. >> reporter: over 20 inches of snow has fallen here at revere beach. couple that with wind gusts over 60 miles per hour. and we've had drifts 3 to 4 feet deep. a lot of blowing snow around. but the plows have been going all night up revere beach boulevard. behind me look at the wave action. these are about 10 to 12-footers. they've been tempered by a break water land you can't see in the distance. but down the coast, those areas are getting battered by 2 20-footers. in haul they've had mandatory
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evacuations. voluntary evacuations where you throw those waves and throw that into the mix with a surge of 2 to 3 feet, we'll have issues with beach front properties. back here the beach front property looks fine over revere beach. seawall, elevation, and the waves never got over the seawall. you can see the snow still blowing in the distance. the plows have been out all night long. they have done their job. but again, the snow won't wind down until at least midday. these winds will continue to blow going from the north to the northwest. by tonight. less wind tomorrow. the sun comes out and temperatures will climb just above freezing. a big storm in boston, so far ranking number six. it will likely end up a top five storm on the record books in bean town. back to you. >> all right. when all is said an done. thank you very much, mike seidel. you can all monitor the latest on the storm's path, track the snow totals, even check the forecast in your neighborhood. it's all there on weather.com. time for the big three, in
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today's topics droning on, game of chicken and best week worst week. we're going to bring in my big three panel now. republican strategist and msnbc contributor susan dell percent yo. democratic strategist morris reid and national political reporter for the atlantic molly ball. good to see all three of you. i'm glad you're here and you susan for making it in from the snowstorm. morris i want to start with the droej on here. at cry nominee john brennan's confirmation hearing we heard the first major discussion of the president's drone program. the "washington post" dana millbank wrote "republicans didn't pry because they favor the targeted killing program and democrats didn't raise civil liberties objections because brennan is the nominee of a democratic president." so morris, can you understand why people might say democrats would be a lot tougher if the president were a republican and if so isn't that a problem? >> of course it's a problem. this is pure politics. you protect your own. but you know, it's one of those things, alex, that when you run
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for president there's one thing. when you run as a candidate. but when you become president you're governed you govern in the way that's the best for america. and that's frankly what's going on here. whether you're a republican or democrat you may have a position. but when you become president of the united states you have to do what's the right thing for america. and this is the right thing for america here. >> okay. so susan, does the president's stance on drones, does that leave republicans with no choice but to applaud given their support on drones? >> well, the republicans all along have supported this. so it's not surprising that they continue to do so. it's the democrats that are a bit hypocritical. if it was a republican administration they would absolutely be attacking. i think morris and i agree on this one. but the president -- and i said this before. when i believe the president is doing the right thing i say it. in this case he is. >> susan, hypocrites in politics? no. you're kidding me. you're kidding me. we don't have that, do we? >> stop being so cynical, don't we?
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molly, one democrat who did get somewhat tough with brennan was senator ron widen. listen to the exchange he had with brennan. >> do you believe the president should provide an individual american with the opportunity to surrender before killing him? >> any american who joins al qaeda well know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the united states. so i think any american who did that should know well that they in fact are part of an enemy against us and that the united states will do everything possible to destroy that enemy to save american lives. >> what do you think of that answer, molly? >> well, i think there's plenty of h hypocrisy to go around on both sides. but senator widen has been pursuing this issue for a long time. he's actually getting a chance to have somebody listen to him and try to get some answers. now, that was not a satisfactory answer for senator widen, i'm
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sure. but just to have the chance to put a nominee on the spot and try to get these questions raised represents progress for people who are on the civil libertarian side of this issue. >> the libertarians have to be based in reality. if the fact that an american joins the opposition, and these are people that run planes into the world trade and bomb em bass is and our ships of course we're going to go after them because they are the enemy now. >> the question is to hide the policy. >> i understand what the senator's position is. but it is -- frankly that is not a wartime position. and that is really not based in the reality of what we're facing right now as a country. >> but do you fight the
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>> you think they're willing to bet that americans were being plamed on the president if the spending cuts will kick in and not the gop? >> i think you'll blame both because the president is the head of the country, but the republicans will take on a lot of this blame. really, this is what happens when you don't see governance and you didn't see it from the democrats or republicans who both sides voted to do this and they were more concerned about their political future instead of doing what's right for the country. republicans should recognize that these cuts will not do the things that will ultimately make a difference when it comes to the debt. challenge the democrats on the bigger issues, go after social security and go after defense in a meaningful way and there they can be successful and also they should be talking about job growth because that's one thing the democrats have not been able to prove that they've been successful at. >> so morris, what would the white house response be if the
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white house would dig in their heels. i don't think she saw the numbers that came out. we've had another quarter of continuing job growth. >> not significant. >> not enough. >> it's either you have growth or you don't have growth. we've had growth. >> many americans don't feel comfortable with the job growth. you cannot parse the words. you have growth or you don't have growth. that's how it works in mathemati mathematics, you either grow or don't grow. >> to your point, what the president should be doing is continuing what he's doing right now is that the show leadership on this orange. if he wants more revenues, he's trying to find other ways to do it other than raising taxes. reforming some of the loopholes will get revenue. the republicans have a philosophical growth with the president that they don't want to get done no matter what. it's not about raising taxes and it's about revenue and you can go about them in a different way and i hope their party will show leadership in their chamber where they control and lead us in the right direction.
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>> i'll let our independently minded journalists here. what do you think will happen? will we see a short-term deal that delays the sequester temporarily so you see the battle, gen and again? >> at this point, there are no negotiations over the sequester. you have a lot of rhetoric coming out of both sides and literally nobody is talking. there is no group of -- there's no gang of senators and no president talking to anybody and no leadership having talks and this is completely hypothetical. we had the president in his address today warning about the effects of the sequester and the republicans are divided. half of them bluffing like they want to walk off this cliff and then blame the president. i have a hard time seeing where any progress will start if they don't at least start talking. >> the problem is the republicans don't want this president to be successful at all and they know that his success will be -- the way he'll go down in history is if he'll
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turn this economy around. they not only don't want to work with them at all to move this country forward. >> molly makes a great point. the reason things aren't happening is both sides are not talking. neither one is speaking to each other and that's what makes a difference and until both sides get there we're with not going see anything happen. >> all right, guys. we'll have to take a break and we'll speed through the best and worst in the week after the big three. ♪ tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty ♪ ♪ tryin' to -- [ woman ] hi there. why do we always have to take your mom's car? [ male announcer ] the security of an iihs top safety pick, the 2013 volkswagen tiguan. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease a 2013 tiguan for $219 a month. ♪ up high! ok. don't you have any usefull apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans,
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we are back with the big three for best week, worst week. i'll begin with you, susan. what's your best and worst this week? >> senator riden, for the drones and president obama had the worst week because of tunisia and egypt and they're not paying much attention with the uprisings which they were so behind with the arab spring and this is with the obama administration. did you pia republican pick a
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democrat for the worst week? >> my best week is the president of france. he's done a great job around africa. he's shown real leadership there. the worst week is american policy on drones. this is going come back to haunt us. mark my word. >> molly, your picks? >> similar to susan for the best week, i said civil liberties and civil libertarians and not that anything will change in their favor. there's a little bit of outrage and the worst week, karl rove, this uprising on the right of the grassroots in the republican party trying to smack him down for his attempt to assert discipline on the part of the establishment. it's not going to be that easy. >> donald trump is part of the grassroots now. >> he sure is. >> susan del percio. >> that'sa i wrap of "ec wooen s weekends with alex witt." up next, craig melvin. ♪
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♪ ♪

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Weekends With Alex Witt
MSNBC February 9, 2013 9:00am-11:00am PST

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